I spent a good deal of time in this forum reading up on YOUR advice on cutting. Not that I could do your tips justice.
My experience cutting dogs' hair are 3 Mini Schnauzers and one Giant Schnauzer I've had over the years.
Discovered Bumble on Craigslist two weeks ago, could not resist going to meet him, and fell instantly in love with the BIGGEST Teddy bear I'd ever seen.
I wish I'd have taken a picture of him when we 1st got him, but his "beard" stayed pretty wet and yucky and his feet picked up dirt like a mop, so I quickly glanced at a picture of a poodle online and quickly shaved his face and feet. Neither well. He didn't like it and I was sloppy, leaving chunks around his lips and between his toes (after all, those are the two areas I'd never done with any of my Schnauzers!).
After a week of reading (especially here) and one visit to my local PetsMart groomers (I would not have had the nerve had it not been for the groomers here online offering such valuable and generous help; I had the same experience in person with the folks at PetsMart), I took the plunge yesterday.
I know I've got a LOOOOOOONG way to go, but we're pretty happy with the results. The groomers at PetsMart gave me an attaboy, saying it was good for a first and, even better, that they thought I had already invested more personal energy into grooming my dog than many folks who brought their dogs in.
I didn't mean to try it all at once, but after it took a full hour to wash him (he was very sweet, thankfully, in the tub, but his hair, soft as it seemed, repelled water like lambswool!), and another full hour for my husband, son and daughter to dry him, I decided I'd better get busy before it's dirty.
Here's some before, during and after pix:
(With my M Schnauzer, Pepper, looking on jealously)
(Husband and son took turns holding/petting and blow drying, daughter brushed)
(He was surprised to see himself all over the ground, I'm sure)
(Boy, did this Bumble BOUNCE around the yard when he was clipped!)
In the meantime, someone was generous enough to give me some detailed poodle cutting instructions (one day too late for Bumble, I'm afraid), so I may not be so confused as I struggle with the face/neck/ears next time.
It's SO warm here, summer and winter, I can't imagine Bumble wanting any of those GORGEOUS long-haired styles. The time he spent before I clipped him, he threw himself around any dirt areas (flowerbeds) or concrete and/or wet areas, all the while drinking tons of water. And he's not black!
I am sure looking forward to doing a good job by him. I do think close crops are in the future for us, esp with a morning walk that goes by a large pond (do all poodles careen toward water and jump in before even inspecting it?). My M Schnauzer thinks he's crazy. he he (Me, too, if he thinks he's coming inside again right after!)
April in Frisco, N Texas